How Is My Personal Injury Claim Valued?
The most common questions I get asked are – how much compensation will I receive for my personal injury claim, and how do you calculate that figure?
I am usually not able to give you an accurate estimate of what your claim is worth at the outset, particularly if you are not yet fully recovered and your symptoms are ongoing.
This is because several factors must be considered, and evidence gathered in relation to the losses you have suffered.
Personal Injury claims consist of two main categories: general damages and special damages.
Personal Injury Claims – General Damages
General damages relate to your injuries and the pain and suffering caused by those injuries. No amount of money can make up for the pain and suffering of an injury, but for practical reasons, a valuation must be made.
General Damages are valued based on medical evidence. Therefore, as part of your claim, you will be required to attend a medical examination with an independent medical expert who specialises in the type of injuries you have suffered. Depending on the extent and severity of your injuries, you may be required to attend more than one examination. The medical expert then prepares what is called a Medico-legal report which provides an opinion and a prognosis period on the injuries you have suffered as a result of the accident.
I then review your medical report/s and calculate your general damages. To do this I will use different types of resources.
Personal Injury Claims – Judicial College Guidelines
The first thing I will do is consult the Judicial College Guidelines. The guidelines are broken down into sections according to different parts of the body and the severity of injury and provide a bracket of figures which should be awarded for that type of injury. For example, if you have suffered a back injury, and the medical expert is of the opinion that you should fully recover from this injury within 18 months of the date of the accident, then the relevant bracket of the JC Guidelines will be; 7(B) Back injuries (c)(ii)
|Where a full recovery takes place without surgery between three months and two years. This bracket will also apply to very short-term acceleration and/or exacerbation injuries, usually less than two years.||£2,300 to £7,410|
The brackets provide an approximate value of what you could be awarded for your injuries and are quite broad in their range.
Personal Injury Claims – Consulting Case Law
Once I have identified which relevant bracket your injuries fall in, I will apply a further method to try to narrow down the valuation. This is done by consulting Case Law. This involves comparing your injuries to previous cases where similar injuries were suffered and what those Claimants were awarded in Court. No case is ever the same, so I will research a number of different cases to try and find those which most closely resemble your injuries.
The defendant insurers and solicitors will also use these resources to value your claim, however, they will usually look to settle your claim on the lowest possible figure within the valuation. Valuing a claim is not an exact science and therefore there is always scope for negotiations and I will always try to obtain as much compensation as I can for you.
Personal Injury Claims – Special Damages
Special damages are your financial losses or out of pocket expenses that you may have sustained as a result of your injuries. These relate to your past and future losses and include things such as loss of earnings, items damaged in the accident, travel expenses, money you have spent on treatment or medication etc.
In order to make a claim for Special Damages, you will need to be able to prove that the loss was incurred. Therefore, it is important that you obtain documentary proof, such as receipts. The medical evidence will also help to support any reasonably incurred financial losses.
If you would like to make a claim for Personal Injury then please call us on 0800 011 6666 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.